Friday, November 12, 2010

Designer Encounter: Jennifer Flanders

You may have seen them before;  beautiful bedrooms with upholstered beds, patterned drapes, gorgeous tufted benches, and amazing color schemes so fun and fresh it's addictive.  I'm talking about bedrooms created by Interior Designer Jennifer Flanders of NYC.  Her style is so upbeat yet sophisticated, colorful yet soothing, they are works of art.

Jennifer's work has been featured in Traditional Home magazine, and at the 2007 and 2008 Hampton Designer Showhouse and the New York Junior League House Tour.

Join me below as I interview the talented Jennifer Flanders and discuss her work through her design business, Jennifer Flanders Inc.

1.  Your bedrooms are so sophisticated, and at the same time they are welcoming and not overdone.  What do you feel are the essentials for a bedroom to become a comfortable retreat?
JF:  A bedroom plays such an important part in our lives - think about it, your bedroom is where you begin and end each day, making the environment of the bedroom so important in our lives.  When designing a bedroom, the single most important thing to figure out is what kind of environment you want to go to sleep in every night and wake up in every morning - do you want a Zen retreat from the world, a space that evokes relaxation and peace?  Or would you prefer a room that energizes you and lifts your spirits?  Once you determine the answer to this question, you can choose colors and patterns that reflect the kind of environment you want to achieve.

No matter what feel you are going for, the single most important item in the bedroom is, of course, the bed.  A comfortable mattress, sumptuous bed linens and lots of pillows are key to creating an inviting bed.  I also love tall, stylized headboards which can add a dramatic touch to the room and define the personality of the room.  Placement of the bed within the room is also important - finding the right wall for the bed, situating the bed thoughtfully with respect to the entry door of the bedroom, making sure the bed is not shoved into a corner of the room, hopefully having a nice view out the window when you are sitting in bed, etc.  

Aside from the bed itself, it is essential to always flank the bed with a pair of night tables - somewhere to place a book, a glass of water, and a note pad and pen (for those middle of the night thoughts) - and to illuminate the room with a beautiful pair of lamps.  Also, you can never have too many books in a bedroom.  Books add color, warmth and personality to any room, giving a room a homey feel.

2.  Typically, how many different fabrics will you use in one bedroom?
JF:  I love a "layered" look, so I tend to use a lot of different fabrics in a single room.  The number of fabrics in a bedroom will always depend on the size of the room and how many different pieces of furniture I have to work with, but in general I will have one fabric for my curtains (which is often the fabric I start with to determine the color palette and feel for the entire room), one fabric for my upholstered bed, one fabric for a chair or other seating piece, and possibly one other random fun fabric for a decorative pillow on the bed.  When mixing many different fabrics, the key is always to create a balance between the large and small scaled patterns, and the more solid, textural fabrics.
3.  Your portfolio features some rooms designed for children that have so much personality and color (below).  These rooms are special, and not too juvenile.  How do you achieve that?
JF:  I feel very strongly that any well-designed room should stand the test of time and be livable for at least 7 to 10 years.  So I shy away from designing "baby" rooms.  When designing children's bedrooms, I go for a look that is playful and fun, yet one that will last.  I achieve the playfulness through bright colors and large-scaled patterns, mixing in lots of reflective elements like metallic fabrics or high-gloss lacquered furniture.  Little girls (as well as their moms) like lots of bling, so anything sparkly works - a crystal chandelier, beaded curtains, glass lamps, shiny nail heads on a headboard are all fun ways to mix playful with sophisticated.

4.  The room that you designed for the East 88th St. residence is breathtaking (below).  What was your starting point or inspiration for that space?  
JF:  This bedroom was a joy for me to design because it happens to be my own.  When I created this room, I knew exactly what I wanted - I wanted a room that reflects my true personality, the way I see myself - feminine, strong and interesting.  I wanted a space that makes me feel alive, excites me, and rejuvenates my spirit.  I wanted a very feminine and chic space.  I wanted to be surrounded by things that I love - favorite artwork, pictures of my children, lots of books piled on top of and underneath my bedside table.  When I designed this room, I gave myself the biggest gift - an incredible place to start and end each day.

Thank you to Jennifer Flanders for taking the time to share with us how she turns her clients' bedrooms into beautifully designed retreats.    

The Designer Encounter series highlights established designers and interiors from their portfolios, sharing their design process and tips. 


  1. Stunning rooms. Love the colors and all the fabulous headboards. Super eye candy. Hugs, Marty

  2. I happen to like a very layered look too - this is totally delicious!

  3. Love all the bright colors!!

  4. What a wonderful interview, I enjoyed reading it! Love the bright colors and those headboards are so beautiful! Have a lovely weekend, Sweetie! xo

  5. Great interview Erica! I love her mix of colors & patterns.

    Have a great weekend!

  6. i like the colors & chandeliers. have a great Sunday!

  7. some fun wall colors..

  8. Thanks for the great info,Love the 3rd pic down in the sort dark orange colour,reminds me of when we had a few different colours left in paint pots, so we mixed them altogether and thats the clour that came out, Painted the whole room with it and it looked stunning...

  9. Would Jennifer be willing to share the name of the paint color she used in the orange bedroom, the third picture down? I am currently searching for just the right orange for our dining room and can't find one that isn't too red or too brown. Thank you for your help.


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